Tucson Fossil Show

I was in Tucson last month at the huge, annual Fossil, Mineral & Gem show. Way, way, way too much to see but always an interesting time to meet and greet others in the paleo fields. Look what I picked up and did the preparation on when I got back home. It’s a fancy fish smashed in limestone sediments from Lebanon (the country, not the city in Indiana). Long story, but I meet the quarry owners, started chatting and mentioned my new son-in-law is of Lebanese heritage, mentioned his last name and Albert Abi Saad immediately perked up and said “I know them, I know the Assi’s from that region! Needless to say, no money would then be accepted from me. Albert insisted on giving me a piece of stone to try to prep myself and gave me a copy of their book published on the fossils of Lebanon. I tried again, but absolutely no money would he accept.

If I ever make it to the central valleys of Lebanon I believe the Abi Saad’s will put me to work in one of their two quarries chiseling out nice skinny slabs of stone with hidden fossil treasures.  

Here’s a photo of the prep work I did (please do not look too closely; my first time ever working on a piece like this all flattened in a slab of stone). I had fun doing it. The prep work seemed similar to what is done on the famous Green River Formation specimens that come out of Kemmerer, Wyoming (that I have never had the opportunity to try to prepare).

Fossil fish from Lebanon

I also saw and felt the strong urge to purchase a beautiful piece of petrified wood. Talking with the vender-owner of “Murph’s,” Mike Murphy, convinced me to lean toward some rare white pine pieces from a tree sourced from Turkey. He had plenty of the typical Arizona showy red, yellow, orange colored slabs (that were bigger and beautiful) but… the “Colla Wood” samples just seemed special. Colla Wood is the informal name given to petrified wood that was created from copper-related minerals and therefore often streaked with blues and greens from the copper! Chrysocolla leaves aqua hues, azurite leaves vibrant blues and malachite showy green colors. Some of the Colla slabs had a lot of copper colors throughout but I picked one a little less expensive that shows hints of the blues, greens and aquas from the minerals mentioned above. I don’t often purchase fossils – I’m very fortunate and usually find and excavate my own, but some things are so unique and special I go for it.

Colla Wood petrified wood slab